The Relevance of Dance Atelier · Day 2 · By Lisa Reinheimer

The Relevance of Dance Atelier – EDN, Dansmakers Amsterdam 11-13 March 2016


Start the day dancing! In complete contrast with the first day, we started with a playful workshop by Euripides, followed by the lecture of neuro-scientists Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazolla about the empathic brain. They confronted us with the question: relevant to whom? Then a series of best practices, resulting in very practical questions, thoughts and ideas about audience participation. And after we went clubbing with Michelle Rizzo in the performance Higher.

Day two presented some very good examples of how choreographic strategies are already applied to or combined with other domains and very specific audience groups.

You are cordially invited to dance

Among the best practices were examples of how to invite and involve people in dancing. It’s all about the experience of dance.

On an educational level: PS Dance! A film about dance as part of the curriculum in public schools. Here they are again, the skills Guy talked about.

Surprise!: Moving Futures Festival integrates a wide and diverse side program, giving different angles to invite new audiences to experience dance. Scientific lectures, film workshops and movement workshops, public space surprises, talks, etc. Crucial for this program is that it is rooted in the city where the festival takes place. During the closing Conference in Olot, Suzy Blok also presented the Moving Futures network and Festival.

How do we invite and commit: People who like to dance (amateurs for instance), but don’t watch dance -and- people who watch dance, but don’t do dance?

OMG, your character is impossible! – The Wig Workshop, transferring in action

“So, here are some wigs, please try, turn them around, see what you like and pick one as yours” says Euripides. And there we are, toddling in front a big mirror, laughing and complimenting each other. Maybe this could give me some ideas of changing my hairdo?

This workshop is actually a way of transferring skills. At the start of the workshop Euripides says rather modestly something like, “I don’t know what you guys are going to learn or anything, but we will have fun”.

We start with a game, like the one I know from Summer camps and all kids and staff need to learn the names. But, this game is a little more complicated. It is about creating and learning patterns. Like dancers need to inscribe a choreography. It is about creating a common ground, a safe environment, wakening our body and brain, space, navigation, passing through energy, create awareness, collaboration and I can go on. After this game, we start to play around with the wigs. With every task we are forced to use our imagination and activate our creativity. We were creating and exploring identities by choice-making. Somewhere in his lecture, Guy summarizes Sennett’s definition of skills as trained practice: They always begin as bodily practices, which are further developed through how repetition is organized as a rhythim between problem solving and problem finding. And it is exactly this we are doing within this workshop.

The Game: We are standing in a circle and throw around a football repeating and memorizing everybody’s names. Not that hard you think? Wait for it! At the end of the game, we throw around three footballs, memorizing every pattern>the blue ball I get from A and I throw it to B, the orange ball I get from C and I throw to D, the white ball I get from E and I throw to F. That’s not all! Two tennis balls are going around our backs, always put it in your neighbours left hand. To top it off, when G crosses the circle and taps me on the shoulder, I cross the circle and tap Z on the shoulder. All at the same time. How frustrating! But it activates our brain in a way we also tend to think with our body.

Lisa Reinheimer
15 April 2016